Friday, February 25, 2011

Craft Hope Project 11: Nashville!



Last year I wanted to participate in some of Craft Hope's projects and never got it together in time. When they announced Project 11, putting together birthing kits for Konbit Sante, I knew I had to commit! I'd seen several documentaries about Haiti in the weeks prior, and really felt a tug on my heart to help the people there. Not knowing what the response would be, I posted the Project 11 information on my Facebook page and asked if anyone was interested in putting a group together. Friends invited friends until we had a great group of women assembled!

The project asked for three handmade items in addition to the birthing kits: handmade tote bags, swaddling blankets and small softies. A member of the Nashville group, Rowena, immediately came up with a great tutorial for the tote bags! (See here.) We all committed to making a certain number of each item, started gathering supplies and exchanging patterns, and got to work sewing!

Can I show you what we ended up with? Here are some photos:

First I'll show you the softies. I think it warrants mentioning that the women that made these had very little sewing experience, the first batch was made by my sister Carol (HI!) on her brand new sewing machine, the second batch was handsewn by a new friend that mostly does collage work in her crafty time, and the third batch was made by a novice sewer as well, using recycled materials! I think they turned out great.

We received about 35 blankets, some made from flannel sheets, some appliqued with hearts, some with very cute prints.

Craft Hope: Swaddling Blankets

Craft Hope: Swaddling Blankets


And I think the bags are best shown in this photo, aren't they beautiful?


The contents of the kits are beyond humbling, even homebirth supply kits have many, many more items than what these Ziploc bags contain: plastic sheeting, small bar of soap, an alcohol wipe, a small packet of Purell, cotton string, latex gloves and a razor. Craft Hope added a wonderful, handmade element to these kits by asking people to make the bags, blankets and softies to go along with this very, very basic supply kit.



I am SO proud of what our group accomplished. Along the way I heard some apologies for "not doing enough", but the amazing part of this project is that without the efforts of everyone, no matter how small, we would have had one less blanket, one less softie, one less Ziploc bag to send. It all makes a difference!

Jenny-mini-button Angel, this all looks so great!! The softies, the blankets and the bags all look beautiful! Having just given birth less than 3 months ago, it is indeed astounding and humbling for me to think of so many women around the world who give birth with the very bare minimum -- and sometimes not even that.

I am so happy I decided to participate in this project, via Seattle. The thought of providing some handmade goodness to help welcome these sweet babies... You should be receiving today or tomorrow 6 drawstring bags and 6 softies. Hopefully just in the nick of time to make the Craft Hope deadline!

Jenny: Swaddle Softies

I made the drawstring bags following Rowena's fab tutorial and using pillowcases. I often buy cute pillowcases when I see them, they make great material for different kinds of projects. This was one! One pillowcase was exactly enough fabric for two drawstring bags.

Jenny: Drawstring Bags for Konbit Sante

I also made 6 little softies about which I will post a tutorial next week.

Jenny: Swaddle Softies

I know it's not much, and I wish I had had time to make much more, but hopefully it will allow you to complete a few more bags. Yay for getting this done! The stack of bags on your windowsill is impressive and I'm getting all emotional hoping they will each help a mama-to-be in need.

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